White House, Head Start Supports Dual Language Learners in Early Learning
On June 2nd, the White House announced a new Federal Policy from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education to better support early childhood programs serving dual language learners. The number of dual language learners has almost doubled in the last decade, with 1 in 5 school-aged children now speaking a language other than English at home. Similarly, almost one-third of Head Start children are dual language learners.
The administration’s new policy recognizes the needs of today’s dual language learners and provides important resources to the early education programs to meet these new demands. The policy includes recommendations for state and local communities to work together in order to support dual language learners in their area. The policy also contains a new electronic program, released from the Office of Head Start, that includes free resources to support the development of dual language learners. The toolkit will be offered for free to all early childhood programs.
Coinciding with the White House’s announcement, the National Head Start Association announced a partnership with Head Start programs nationwide, business bureaus, and local chambers of commerce to develop a new electronic toolkit in support of parents of dual languages learners. The toolkit aims to support parents in job training, enrolling in adult classes, and accessing English language courses. The purpose of both new toolkits is to support multi-generational approaches to better assist dual language learners and their parents to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed.